Aug 19, 2014

Increased refinery reliability with emergency shut-off valves

The highest degree of reliability is expected from on-off and safety valves, as unnecessary shutdowns lead to excessively high costs.

Valves on firefighting system

With a large investment into its new light hydrocracking and motor fuel hydrotreatment facility, NIS Gazprom Neft refinery in Panèevo in Serbia aimed to upgrade its production quality to Euro Level 5. To do so, it needed to match strict European standards for safety and emissions. This meant that safety and compliance with regulations would be key criteria when selecting critical valves for burner management systems on the heaters, and also for the truck and jetty loading system.

The highest degree of reliability is expected from on-off and safety valves, as unnecessary shutdowns lead to excessively high costs. Moreover, a valve’s failure to faultlessly close in an emergency case would have a major impact on people’s health and the environment.

As the valves handle explosive and toxic hydrocarbons, they must retain the initial gas shut-off tightness and be able to demonstrate low fugitive emission levels that comply with European standards over their entire operational lifetime. To ensure this, regular shutdowns for valve inspection are normally scheduled every four years. Otherwise, valve stem leakages could impact an operator’s wellbeing and pollute the environment.

Safe, reliable and simple

The NIS Gazprom Neft refinery chose Neles’ Jamesbury high-performance valves for the safety shut-off and venting applications in its newest truck and jetty loading station. This included the firefighting system and new hydrocracking unit heater.

These valves fully comply with the regulations relevant to the applications in the refinery. With the patented design and the unique seat sealing technology, the valves provide long-term bubble tightness and prevent overpressure during sudden rises in temperature. This is an extremely important safety criterion for applications with highly inflammable media, such as that used in the burner management systems on the refinery’s heaters and also in the truck and jetty loading system.

All these valves are fire-safe according to API 607 and approved according to IEC 61508 SIL 3. Further safety protection is provided through the intelligent safety solenoid with a partial stroke testing feature.

The valve shaft sealing is designed to fulfill ISO 15848-1 BH and TA-Luft/VDI 2440, meaning that they fully comply with the fugitive emissions regulations.

Besides conformance with the European safety standards, valves designed with third-party criteria are seen as the minimal standard, and therefore, provide many additional benefits. Specifically, their simple design preserves superior tightness throughout the high cycling and minimizes the cost of operation and maintenance.

Securing high-quality production

The total valve package includes the valve, actuator and instrumentation with relevant approvals and certificates for emergency shut-off and venting applications. These packages have enabled the refinery to reliably and safely achieve the desired run-time targets for its hydrocracking process.

Since the long-term tight shut-off of the new valves helps keep the plant and truck loading area emissions at the required European regulations levels, the refinery has been able to ensure uninterrupted production of high-quality fuels. Additionally, safe truck loading operations have been secured because the new valves ensure firefighting availability.

This blog post has been up-dated in July 2020, due to company name change to Neles.